In season 2 of Sex Education, the show moves beyond the physical act of sex and focuses more on intimacy – both in and out of the bedroom.
|Genre(s)||Comedy, Drama, Romance, Young Adult, LGBT|
|Aimee||Aimee Lou Wood|
This content contains pertinent spoilers.
Season Plot Synopsis
Otis and Maeve find it hard to reconcile this season. For if it isn’t Otis dating Ola, who isn’t comfortable with Maeve and Otis’ relationship, it is Maeve dealing with her mother, Erin, returning, as well as a boy named Isaac. Add in Jean has joined the school to offer sex therapy, thus butting heads with Maeve and Otis’ business, and it further breaks what allowed their bond to flourish.
And as they go through that drama, Eric is torn between a new guy, Rahim, and old flame, Adam. Also, Jackson, in trying to regain control of his life, begins hurting himself and also having to take on a tutor, Viv, if he has any hopes of diversifying himself so that he isn’t reliant on sports scholarships.
Leaving the adults. Alongside Jean working at Otis’ school, she also is trying do deal with Jakob integrating himself into her home and the conflicts that make. Though her big conflict comes from getting involved in Michael and Maureen’s relationship, Adam’s parents, and butting heads with them to the point of him trying to tarnish her reputation. Which, considering the town isn’t that large, could be detrimental.
Adam’s Joy When He Thinks Or Does, Make Friends
Twice in the season, Adam comes to believe he has made a friend. First, perhaps to your surprise, is at military school. Two of the boys take Adam under their wing, and he even finds some praise in his drill sergeant. Which, after being treated as dumb and unloved by his father, finding this level of male validation, comradery, love even, makes the academy feel more like home than where he has lived for most of his life. But, sadly, that is short-lived.
However, upon returning home and working at Rahim’s family shop, where Ola also works, she connects with him in a way that heals the wound that Military school inflicted. And it is in Ola performing a grand gesture and you seeing him hug her, oh it is an overwhelming moment. One that, honestly, may never mind the fact Adam was such a bully to Eric the entire first season since, in swift actions, he got his comeuppance and the chance to reform.
Rahim & Eric As A Couple
You know Eric is awesome, I know Eric is awesome, but with Adam being the only guy who had anything with Eric, it was unfortunate that as everyone else was finding love, and exploring their sexual interest, Eric was left out. But, in this season, Rahim enters the picture, and while an odd boy, he makes it clear his intentions and, unlike Adam, wants a real relationship. One that Eric does struggle with at times, but it is lovely to see him get the same opportunities as Otis. Which, unfortunately, includes a love triangle.
The Ladies Sharing Their Assault/ Harassment Stories – Episode 7
Like the vagina moment of season 1, the ladies of “Sex Education” find themselves coming together as one of them are under attack. In this case, Aimee was assaulted on the bus, by a literal wanker, and while she tried to shoo away people’s thoughts on it, eventually she comes to terms with what happened, and it leaves her triggered.
But, with ending up in detention comes her, Ola, Maeve, Lily, Viv, and Olivia all expressing their own experiences. This ranges from inappropriate comments at a young age (Viv) to outright being forced into a situation that will leave a mark on them for the rest of their lives. And truly, in that scene, you are thankfully reminded that shows which don’t solely focus on women can and should give women the space to give their perspective as well. Be it the positive feeling of an orgasm or the issues they face dealing with men.
Viv and Jackson’s Friendship
As noted below, “Sex Education” doesn’t really deal with race. However, it is hard to not take some joy in seeing two dark-skinned characters become almost like siblings, despite them existing in different social standings. It creates the kind of dynamic that feels unexpected, if just because it is so rare to see, especially in shows that aren’t focused on the Black experience.
But what also is lovely about it is that it’s beneficial to both parties. Jackson doesn’t just get a friend who helps him with his parental struggle, he also aides Viv in her pursuit of a boy and, ultimately, crafts a friendship that may come off platonic, but could evolve into something more. And taking note that Viv is smart, nerdy, and a big girl, getting to see someone like that pursue love, be herself, and make friends, it drives you to hope we’ll see more from her in the third season.
Adam’s mother has lived in Michael’s shadow and rarely played a notable role in Adam’s life. However, thanks to Jean, she steps out of Michael’s shadow, and her freedom feels like a story of its own. One that you may badly wish was expanded to take on her life and her relationship with Adam, for she was on the brink of being a breakout this season.
Multiple Dark Skin Characters On One Show That Aren’t Related & Depiction Is Diverse
Most “diverse” shows work on a token system. You may get one Black person, maybe someone Latinx, or Asian, but rarely do you get multiple people of the same look or ethnicity, unless they are family. “Sex Education” is different. From Eric being Black, having African parents, and gay, he represents one unique example of being Black. Jackson is raised in a bi-racial household with lesbian moms, and that brings another perspective. Then there is Viv, who is a woman, a big girl, highly intelligent, and nerdy. I cannot even think of too many shows, especially focused on young adults, with this much diversity on shows focusing on a Black majority area or cast.
So kudos to casting and the writers for making the characters, and who they represent, feel seen and not just moons in Otis’ world.
Ruby & Otis – Episode 7
Ruby, after taking on a strong mean girl vibe in season 1, was humbled by the end of the season. Not to imply she becomes a sweetheart in season 2, but she does find herself growing close to Otis after a hookup. The kind that could be taken as a joke, but as “Sex Education,” often does, it takes a comedic situation and uses it to break the ice so that characters can get real with one another. This leads to us really getting to know Ruby and, during the episode, wanting to ship her and Otis.
We Don’t Get To See Maureen and Adam Bond
While Maureen and Adam’s relationship with Michael is firmly established, it isn’t clear what their relationship is like without him. Did Maureen never bond with Adam, or did she just assume the role of the maid and didn’t pursue something further with her son? If not, thanks to Michael, and fear of conflict due to parenting, she was hands off? This isn’t really dived into, and with Adam’s return and Maureen’s revolution, you are left thinking she may not just leave Michael behind but also her own son.
On The Fence
Side Stepping The Racial Dynamics
Race, ethnicity, culture, whichever you choose to use, is a complicated subject. Especially considering Eric, Viv, Rahim, Jackson, Anwar, Ola, Olivia, and others, are living in a small, white majority town. So addressing their experiences and how they are similar or conflict, that isn’t necessarily something they can handle in one episode, then push forward. For whether you’re talking about being bi-racial, like Ola, raised by a white woman and Black woman, like Jackson, or us diving further into what Eric’s dad touched on in the last season, there is a lot to cover. So, in a way, you can understand why they stick to just nodding to how certain characters are different or not making too big of a deal out of it. After all, while many of us love and honor our cultures, none of us want it to be the defining characteristic. So you can see why we’re on the fence about this subject.
Eric’s Love Triangle
Eric is a hot commodity. He has personality, is funny, attractive, and while he is still in an odd place with his family, in terms of being gay, they have come to deal with his truth. So him ending up in a love triangle makes a whole lot of sense. Especially considering there aren’t a whole lot of gay people in that village. However, I do feel, considering Adam and Eric’s history, I’m not sure how to feel about him really being shown as a true competitor to Rahim. Someone who was ready for an open relationship and was all Eric could ask for.
Yet, instead, Eric found himself torn between having to take steps back, to get Adam to the point he, Eric, was at and getting to finally move forward with who he is, and his feelings, with Rahim. And while we understand this is a coming of age story, and everyone needs a bit of hand-holding in their life, it’s hard to firmly approve of Eric having to slow down his progress to help Adam catch up. Whether or not you think Adam has redeemed himself.
Increasingly we’re learning to criticize a character who is part of an underrepresented community is a balancing act. One in which the challenges are your opinion of them to the value of their community. So with Isaac, let’s just say him being the devil on Maeve’s shoulder had its place. Also, considering how few members of Maeve’s trailer park we were previously introduced to, a character who does more than fit a stereotype is a welcome sight. However, as much as it should be applauded that Isaac wasn’t made out to be someone who garners sympathy, and can be quite the ass****, his actions towards the end of the season rubbed us the wrong way. If only because, while in tune with the character, it will likely drag out the Maeve x Otis storyline to the end of the third season. Which, with how Netflix has been lately, could be the show’s last.
Ola and Lily
When Lily was introduced in season 1, she was brilliantly weird, and it was easy to fall in love with that. But, as much as we adore Ola and want her happy, I’d submit her pairing up with Lily was more about story constraints than them being meant to be. Which isn’t to say they can’t grow on us, but taking note of all Lily has said and dreams about, this almost feels like a consolation prize. If not Lily enjoying someone who is into her and what she is into.
Review Summary: One and Done
Rating: Positive (Watch This)
The “Coming of Age” genre has unfortunately been plagued with over the top drama, murder mysteries, and trying a bit too hard to be progressive or present a message. With “Sex Education,” a lot of what it does comes naturally. Almost to the point of you wondering why do its peers struggle as they do considering the very few missteps, which are more personal opinion than fact, this show has?
Season 3 of Netflix’s Sex Education
Has Another Season Been Confirmed?
It has been confirmed but, with filming set to begin in May and the Coronavirus shutting down everything, it is delayed.
What We Expect From The Next Season?
Outside of Maeve and Otis, I think we’re going to focus more on relationships next season. Since, at this point, we have been heavy into hookups, and then the actual act, but have been inching more and more towards intimacy. Plus, unlike the first season, season 2 had way less nudity, and it pushes you to wonder if it may continue that direction. Especially in a post #MeToo world, which has made nearly every company a bit more hesitant to present nude scenes for the sake of nude scenes.
But, getting specific, I think Eric and Adam we’ll finally see have a real go at a relationship, and with Otis no longer having his business, it’ll mean dedicating his time to other things, and maybe people. After all, Eric will be with Adam, and I can’t imagine Otis doing well with being the third wheel. So between trying to win Maeve back or, though unlikely, revisiting Ruby, he is likely to seek out new friends and people.
As for the rest? Ola and Lily likely will be our representative for a lesbian relationship, since they won’t let Ruthie be great; a part of me strongly feels they may have Viv and Jackson explore things; and when it comes to the adults? Well, it is hard to say. Jean does end the season pregnant, so there is her being a middle-aged woman dealing with that. But when it comes to Michael, Maureen, and the rest? It’s really anyone’s guess.